How to Catch a Kitten in the Woods!

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Notes From The Field

February 28, 2024 | By Katie Schankula

Meeting the Clowder

One of FRi’s senior biologists was conducting a fairly routine survey at a remote property. It was the beginning of January and the snow had just started to accumulate in this part of Ontario. While walking back from the survey location, a small meow was heard in the distance. To our team members surprise a small orange kitten appeared from behind a pile of snow!

The kitten immediately connected to our team member and came to their feet for some much-needed affection and lots of purring. It was a male, pale orange kitten who quickly got the nickname Orange.  After a few minutes with Orange, three additional kittens followed their brothers trail to our team member. It was then that the entire clowder, the name of a group of kittens, was introduced to FRi. Two tortoiseshell females, and two male orange tabby cats.

Turning Cold

FRi’s biologist did not have any of the appropriate materials to catch and transport kittens. Two of the kittens were shy and hid beneath some wood logs, assessing our team member from the distance. In an act of good faith, our biologist drove an hour round trip to the nearest local general store for some cat food. After driving back to the site, they left the food out for the kittens at their last known location with plans to come back the following day with appropriate equipment for their rescue. It was the first night of the winter season that temperatures were starting to drop; their rescue became a top priority for the FRi team.

Rescue Day

On a mission to save the four kittens, two FRi field staff returned to the last known location of the kittens for a full-fledged rescue attempt. After a couple of hours of coaxing the kittens with some treats, the FRi team members were able to rescue all four kittens. The kittens were deemed to be healthy and aged at approximately 4 - 6 months old.

All four kittens warming up in the back of FRi’s truck!

The best part of this story, one of FRi’s biologists just couldn’t say goodbye to the kitten that saved his clowder clan. The original orange kitten was adopted by FRi’s team member. Meet Macadamia (Mac), the newest member of FRi’s team, by extension of course!

Macadamia in his new home! 

One of the other kittens was adopted by an acquaintance of FRi, while the remaining two kittens were graciously taken-in by Almaguin Pet Rescue and Mizfit Alley. We thank everyone involved in the successful rescue and rehoming of these kittens. An unusual success story for FRi but one we are proud to be a part of nonetheless!